Aug 162012

Lately I’ve found myself trying to build my family portraiture portfolio.  This is a learning experience because there is so much to consider.  I’ve been building my infant and child portfolios, too, and they have similar challenges.  When young children are involved a photographer needs to keep in mind that it by necessity needs to be a short shoot.  Get in the beginning the shots you really want because that is usually the best chance you have, then you can try to fill in a few others if the child/infant is up to it.  As a pediatric nurse I know what to expect from most kids, but each child is an individual and one is never totally in the know.  Some kids work better when Mom and Dad are present, others are better behaved when they are no where in site.  Sometimes the parents think they are helping by adding comments and such, but sometimes they just distract.  This can be said for any extra person in the studio…if that is where you are shooting.  Being outside has it’s own challenges…and add in pets…and one could easily throw ones hands in the air and say ENOUGH, but I love the challenges that each of these things have brought.

Family portrait in the studio

Family portrait outside

family portrait outside and with pets


Through these shoots I’ve dealt with an healthy infant, one who had shoots earlier in the day, and one who had a stomach flu.  Sometimes we get thrown curve balls, but good results can still be had!!

Sep 252010

Today I spent the day at a Coast Guard Base with a bunch of Strobist photographers (meaning using lighting off camera only).  We picnicked and had two wonderful models pose for us throughout the day.  I’ll be back with probably many more, but wanted to highlight both models in today’s blog.  Here is beautiful Cultural Enigma and Fallyn, our models for the day.

Apr 142010

A couple weekends ago I had a few firsts.  I already wrote about my first studio shoot.  The next day I did my first work with models.  It was an organized event, but since one of the organizers was someone close to me, I got to assist in setting up the lighting, too.  I’m still learning what to do with lighting, so this post isn’t going to be about that, but about working with models.  The models were all from Model Mayhem, an organization that assists photographers, models, make-up artists, and others involved in the photography industry to find others in different categories.  It is for beginners and those with a bit of experience.  It was great to work with these talented people.

The lighting was set up by the pros…those who knew what they were doing and I had to get a bit of help making sure settings on my camera were appropriate sometimes, but over all, I was very happy with the results.  The models were all very professional, they were easy to work with, and tolerated those of us at the workshop who had never had the chance to work with them before.  They tried to give us the photos we were after.  I learned that getting great photos from a model is a group effort.  We had a great make-up artist, a few great props, great lighting, and great teachers there to assist us through the process.

I was able to capture several sides of one of the models, innocence versus bad-girl was 2 sides of the model Caroline Forrester. Lacey Fleshman was fun to shoot and very adaptive.  She braved the cooler air outside to let us shoot her in a short sleeved polka dotted dress. Ellen Flynn was fun to shoot, I preferred her pouty faces or her bright smiles when they reached her eyes.  I really enjoyed getting a few good shots of her shoulder tattoo. Darian Agnew was fun to shoot at the pool table inside and on the Harley Davidson with Caroline or even by himself.  His bad-boy side was brought out most at this photo shoot.  It would be fun to get him in a different setting to see what side could be brought out.

There were great backgrounds, a Harley Davidson, a Camero convertible, and a black and gray Chevelle used with the models provided by friends of one of the organizers and they were all great!  The cars could be used in their entirety or only in portions as the photographer thought was appropriate.

My hope is to be able to work with these talented models again in the future, maybe even be better able to instruct them, too. Learning to set up my own lighting would also be great. I have a lot left to learn, but with the help of my friends and their friends, I hope to keep advancing my skills in all aspects of photography.

Mar 292010

The firsts of my photographic career are constant, but this weekend I did three new things.  Each are deserving of their own posts, at

Original concept and idea

least two of them definitely are!  The first one I’m going to write about is studio shooting.  I was pointed in the direction of a photography contest by a friend and had an idea that just wouldn’t leave me, so I went about trying to get a good shot to enter.  The theme of the contest was “I spy with my eye something beginning with the letter ‘J'”.

My brain almost automatically thought of Jelly Beans.  Then I was sitting in my Living Room with my family one night and discovered that my Mom had Jelly Belly Jelly Beans sitting on the table and the colors that mingled together just caught my photographic eye.  I thought that black Plexiglas would be a perfect

The Close-up

background.  I even knew someone who could let me set it up in his studio and get the shots.  I just needed someone to help me with lighting, which I still don’t really know a whole lot about. I discussed the idea with John, who liked my idea, but did point out that this was an advanced contest, so it would need to be a VERY good shot to stand a chance.  The beginners on the site had a similar contest on the same site and the second place winner in that contest also used Jelly Beans.  I just hope I did a good enough job making this a great shot!

John was a little busy getting ready to teach a Photoshop class Saturday, but our

Mound of Jellies!

friend Michelle thought she could spare a few minutes.  We were gathering up lighting stuff to take to the class anyway.  She helped me set it up and capture what I wanted.  In the end I had four shots I really liked, a few that were ok, and a few that were tossed as soon as I took them.  We’ll see how it does in the contest, but I was very proud of the final products of my first studio shoot.

For these shots Michelle set up 2 Nikon Flashes crossing each other so there were no front lying shadows and we triggered them using a Pocket Wizard.  It took a few tries to get the lighting right, but once we figured it out, the results speak for themselves I think. 🙂

Final Shot